What will urban transport be like in the near future?

| October 28, 2016

We are accustomed to the fact that in the transport, which use every day, nothing changes. What were the buses 10-20 years ago, so, in general, remained. Cars do not fly. And even flying boards as in the movie “Back to the Future” and not invented. When the last time you went for something new? The bus running on hydrogen or unmanned taxi? But it seems this time everything changes.

We have compiled a selection of the most, in our view promising technologies that can change the transport medium is not so distant future.

Hydrogen vehicles

In search of clean fuels, scientists are increasingly turning to hydrogen. It may seem that this is the most “green” replacement of traditional fuels. Emissions – zero. The water formed by the reaction between oxygen and hydrogen is obtained as a result of which electricity is discharged through the exhaust pipe in the form of steam and does not cause any harm to nature. Or synthesized water first accumulates and then simply merges into the road, as is done in Toyota Mirai.

By the way, for Mirai Hydrogen Transport, about the same as for the electric Tesla. This is the first production car in the hydrogen fuel cell. True volumes of manufacture and sales, as compared with electric cars by Elon Musk, from Toyota can not yet boast. At last year’s sales target was only 700 cars, including 400 planned to sell in Japan.

To date, there are three factors hindering the spread of hydrogen transport. Firstly, there is no need ubiquitous network of hydrogen filling stations. And there is no gas stations because there are not enough machines for the construction of such a network has paid off. For private vehicles, as opposed to public, sailing on the same route, it is very important. Honda to solve this problem has created a Home Energy Station homemade hydrogen generator. Independent home station for the production of hydrogen can be used for refueling the car, Honda FCV sedan powered by hydrogen will become a serial later this year, and for domestic use.

The second factor – the high cost of hydrogen vehicles and equipment for service stations. However, this does not stop the power of the cities that are very familiar with air pollution. So London buses on hydrogen fuel has been running since 2010. Hydrogen bus passes at a gas station for 18 hours, releasing into the air only water vapor.

In the same year, the British public was introduced and hydrogen cab – Fuel Cell Hybrid taxi. Externally, no different from the usual, such as black and vintage, it hides inside hydrogen fuel cells, lithium batteries and an electric motor. That also allows him to move around without any harmful emissions. Development of hydrogen taxis partly financed by the British government.

Given the rapid development of technology it can be assumed that the problem with the cost of production of the hydrogen technology will be solved, as well as problems with the cost of the fuel itself. The cost of hydrogen, which is charged with such a transport, also is great. And the third factor affecting its ubiquity.

Indeed, hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Here only to find it in its pure form on Earth is difficult.

Hydrogen used as a fuel can be extracted from various sources. From natural gas reforming method, or by electrolysis of water, including by solar or wind energy. While all of these methods are expensive. Since essentially one type of fuel (energy) – natural gas and electrical energy is transformed into another. Winning only in urban ecology. But while there are numerous government and enthusiasts are ready to invest in the development of hydrogen vehicles can hope for solving the problems hindering its development will be found.

However, expect that hydrogen cars are ubiquitous not worth it, even if the diesel and gasoline will leave in the past, have hydrogen vehicles, there is another “green” competitor – electric vehicles.

Electric Transport

Company Tesla Motors Elon Musk on everyone’s lips. This is probably the leader in its industry, and clearly the main newsmaker. Musk creates a whole infrastructure of electric vehicles: electric vehicles, stations for charging electric vehicles Supercharger, built in Nevada factory producing Gigafactory lithium batteries, and “related” to him the company SolarCity has been manufacturing solar cells, which including will be used to generate electricity on Charging stations.

Despite the fact that Tesla is engaged in personal transport, the idea of urban public transport mask is also not alien. It became clear in April this year, when the event held by the Government of Norway, the entrepreneur “slip” that Tesla is working on a project that will solve the transportation problems of cities. That is something to work Tesla engineers will not be a bus, and a new means of transport, that will be accessible collectively, but passenger service will be based on the desired address, and not to stop. Details were not disclosed, but it is known that the machines are standalone, ie to move without a driver, and obviously electric.

But Elon Musk is not the only one obsessed with the idea of transportation to transfer electrical energy. And the more the public transport.

Strictly speaking, an electric public transportation for a long time, there is the famous trolley buses and trams. Subway and monorail compositions also feed electricity. Another thing is that the developing electric public transport of the future engineers use to it new, appearing only recently technical solutions and opportunities.

For example, the depreciation of the lithium-ion battery lets you create trolley buses which pass part of the route without makeup of the contact network. This makes it possible not to build unnecessary infrastructure or remove the contact wires where they do not look aesthetically pleasing. This trolley is charging while riding under the wires, and where they do not use the energy stored in the batteries.

But electric bus TOSA, test operation is carried out in Geneva, recharged at bus stops, while the passengers get out and go. This process developers call “Flash charging”. On Battery charging takes only 15 seconds. Before the next stop with charging should be sufficient. The charging station is Visor bus shelters. In order to attach to it the battery contacts the bus is equipped with a robotic arm placed on the roof.

Unmanned Vehicles

Returning to Elon Musk and his new idea of public transport, one can assume that the idea is not new. Anyway, until we know the details. Something similar is already implementing a Dutch company 2getthere. And in the same month the company introduced its new public, it is the third project.

2getthere known as a manufacturer of unmanned passenger cabins, which are already used on the streets of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Masdar City (UAE), and now come on the streets of Singapore.

Take advantage of Singapore’s residents and visitors will be able to have since the end of the year. They are completely autonomous, run on electricity and can travel not only where permitted movement of cars, but also within the closed areas, such as school campuses. Unmanned booths, which will be produced for Singapore designed to carry 24 people and more capacious than those that are already used in Masdar City. They are designed for 4-6 passengers.

Unmanned transport has its advantages, and it’s not just savings on the driver’s salary. More important here, and that the need to carry less per person. For transport to move around the earth it certainly is not so critical, and it is important for the air transport. Of course, on the unmanned air buses that will run over the cities it is too early. But unmanned aerial taxi already presented to the public.

eHang The company has long been trying to create a passenger drone. The first version of this fantastic transport looked more like from the movie “Kin-Dza-Dza”. But presented in January this year at the show in Las Vegas eHang 184 already looks like a real pre-production sample.

In fact, the aircraft is a giant quadrocopter designed to carry one passenger. He is able to raise on board a person and a weight up to 118 kg and reach speeds up to 100 km / h.

Given the speed with which usually develops drones designed for carrying cargo and aerial photography, we can assume that after some time in the major metropolitan areas will be unmanned air taxis. It is difficult to suggest whether air taxis painted in yellow and checkered paint, but clearly we can say that the “Let’s go, boss!” Say there will be no one.

Personal girotransport

When it comes to talking about the future of transport, sometimes have to hear that one of the modes of transport of the future will be a bicycle. Despite the fact that this form of transport in the next year will celebrate the bicentennial anniversary, it is not out of date, and its popularity is even growing. But the question now is not about him. The fact that many people choose as the movement is not a bus or other form of public transport, not private car, namely, the wheel indicates the presence of the need for lightweight personal transport. And the future offers new solutions here.

As we can see the transport that we want to see in the future should be clean and “intelligent.” The solutions proposed by the two inventors and entrepreneurs Keymenom Dean and Shane Chen just like that. This is a personal electric girotransporte.

Dean Kamen is known as the founder of Segway Inc, and inventor of the vehicle, whose name has become a household name – segway. Two-wheel platform is equipped with two electric motors and a self-balancing system allows you to move at speeds up to 20 km / h. Transport can be used both indoors and outdoors. There is also a special off-road version. And he charged from a conventional household outlet.

Segway difference from the rest of what they did before that you need to move around while standing, and the wheels are not one after the other, like a bicycle or a motorcycle, and on each side of the rider platform. And to such a unit is not tipped forward or backward invented a system of gyroscopic sensors and “smart” electronics that gives the team the wheels drive up the platform in the direction of inclination.

To create segway the inventor took 10 years. The idea has become so popular that it became interested in Chinese, and became Kamen in violation of patents to produce such devices. One of the Chinese companies have succeeded in this field has become Ninebot, which belongs to the same Chinese company Xiaomi. First Dean Kamen tried to sue, but then changed his mind and sold Ninebot his company.

Ninebot it is known and other types girotransport. Easy option segway, often called a mini-segways and giroscooter. Based on all the same principles of self-balancing through gyroscopic sensors are becoming more popular.

Production of these vehicles gadgets has become so massive that not so long ago Shane Chen complained that patents he received for his invention worthless. Girobordy produce 11 thousand enterprises in China, and to do with them, he can not do anything. Fired these devices, according to the inventor, for more than a billion pieces. And no allocations for their patents he gets.

Such mass production says that the personal electric transport is gaining in popularity, and in the future will be not less common than a bicycle.

In addition it should be noted that the described modes of transport should not be confused with gyrocar, to maintain a balance with the help of massive gyroscopes – flywheels. Here gyroscopes are used only as a sensor, and the balance is achieved by the movement of the wheels.

Gyrocar maintaining balance with the flywheel is also being developed, such as a two-wheeled Lit C-1 from Lit Motors Company. But while this idea is not popular enough to talk about these machines as transport of the future.

New roads of the future

If we say that the change vehicles, you can not say that can change and the road on which they move. And it’s not just a more sleek and smooth asphalt, it is something more.

British state-owned company engaged in the construction and maintenance of roads, Highways England plans to build a test track under the roadway which will be placed the equipment for charging electric vehicle batteries.

Electric trolley, in order to be able to be recharged in a way that should support inductive charging technology. This will allow owners of electric vehicles to overcome considerable distance, without visiting charging stations. However, the charging station is still planning to build. They will be placed along the road at a distance of 11 kilometers from each other.

But if Britain create roads that will distribute electricity, is developing a road capable of generating it in the United States. Inventors Julie and Scott Brousseau decided to create a “sun road” consisting of glass tiles. This coating is resistant to damage, support the weight of multi-ton trucks and provide the same grip of the tires, as well as conventional asphalt. But most importantly, they generate electricity as contain photovoltaic cells convert solar energy into electric current. The project, called Solar Roadways, has already received financial support from the state.

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